Overview of Syphilis

Syphilis Meaning in Urdu

یہ ایک جنسی بیماری ہے جو کہ جنسی عمل کے دوران پھیلتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کی ابتدائی علامات میں اعضائے مخصوصہ پر چھالے یا پھنسیاں نمودار ہوتی ہیں جو کہ درد کا باعث نہیں بنتیں، اس کے علاوہ منہ پر بھی چھالے ظاہر ہو سکتے ہیں۔ اس کو ایک متعدی بیماری بھی کہا جا سکتا ہے کیوں کہ یہ آسانی کے ساتھ ایک شخص سے دوسرے شخص میں منتقل ہو سکتی ہے۔ یہ بیماری چوں کہ جنسی عمل کے دوران منتقل ہوتی ہے اس لیے اگر آپ کا پارٹنر اس بیماری کا شکار ہے تو اس کے ساتھ جنسی تعلق قائم کرنے سے گریز کریں اور جلد از جلد علاج کروائیں۔

Syphilis (آتشک) is a sexual disease that is contagious and spreads through sexual activities including unprotected sex. The infected person might pass this disease to an uninfected one without knowledge.

Syphilis can lead to serious health complications such as arthritis, brain damage, and blindness.

Signs and Symptoms of Syphilis

Syphilis is a disease whose symptoms develop in stages. But even if the stages are overlapping the symptoms may not occur in the same order. A person may have a syphilis infection without showing any sign or symptom of it. The symptoms of syphilis can vary depending on the stage of the infection.

Primary syphilis:

  • A small, painless sore (chancre) on the genitals, anus, or mouth
  • The sore typically appears within 3 weeks of infection and heals on its own within 3-6 weeks.

Secondary syphilis:

  • A rash that can appear on any part of the body, but is most common on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  • Fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue
  • Sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and patchy hair loss
  • These symptoms may go away on their own, but the infection is still present and can progress to later stages.

Latent syphilis:

  • No symptoms are present, but the infection is still present in the body.

Tertiary syphilis:

  • This is a late stage of syphilis that can occur years after infection.
  • Symptoms can include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, blindness, dementia, and damage to the heart, blood vessels, and other organs.

It's important to note that not everyone with syphilis will experience symptoms, and some symptoms can be mild or easily mistaken for other conditions. The only way to know for sure if you have syphilis is to get tested by an infectious disease specialist. Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can cause serious health problems.

Types of Syphilis

Causes of Syphilis

Syphilis is mainly caused by the bacteria named Treponema pallidum. You can also get syphilis if you get in contact with the infected person. This mostly happens during sexual activities. You can also get syphilis if the bacteria enter your body through a cut or bruise.

Syphilis cannot be spread by toilet seats, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, sharing clothes, and eating with the same utensils.

Syphilis Stages

Syphilis is a sexual disease that has the following stages. And the sign and symptoms of syphilis evolve with each stage.

Primary Syphilis

The first sign of syphilis is a small sore. The sore will be at a place where the bacteria has caused an infection.

The sore will develop after three weeks of infection. It might also go unnoticed because these types of sores are usually painless. This sore can get healed on its own within a span of three to six weeks.

Secondary Syphilis

After the healing process of the sore has started, a person may experience rashes that might originate on the trunk and then cover the entire body. It can also develop on the palms and soles of your feet.

The signs and symptoms of syphilis may disappear after some weeks or may come back after a year.

Latent Syphilis

In case the patient has not been treated for syphilis, the disease might be from the second stage to the latent stage. It is a stage where the person might not even experience symptoms.

Tertiary Syphilis

People who have been diagnosed with syphilis and are unable to get treatment might develop symptoms of tertiary syphilis. At this stage, this disease might affect the brain, eyes, heart, and some blood vessels.


Neurosyphilis is a disease that can cause serious neurological complications and damage to the nervous system.

Congenital Syphilis

Pregnant women who have syphilis might transfer this disease to their unborn. The newborns who have syphilis might not even show the symptoms.

A child who has congenital syphilis might experience some complications such as teeth loss, deafness, and nose deformities.


Risk Factors of Syphilis

Some common risk factors of syphilis are given below:

  • Having unprotected intercourse
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • A prior history of HIV
  • Same-gender sex

Complications of Syphilis

If left untreated, syphilis can lead to various health complications. Such as:

Small bumps and Tumors

Patients can suffer from the development of bumps and tumors in the later stages of this disease. They can disappear after proper treatment with antibiotics.

Neurological Problems

Syphilis can cause serious neurological problems. Such as:

Cardiovascular Problems

Untreated syphilis can put a patient at an increased risk of heart disease and complications.

HIV Infection

Adults who have syphilis are at a greater risk of contracting HIV infection and then AIDS. Syphilis sore has a high chance of bleeding and thus the virus can also find a way inside your bloodstream during intercourse.

Pregnancy Complications

If a woman has syphilis, she might pass it on to her unborn baby. Syphilis can also increase the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn death after some time of birth.



There is currently no vaccination available for syphilis. Here are some steps you can take to prevent syphilis:

  • Practice safe sex: The most effective way to prevent syphilis is to practice safe sex, which means using a condom during every sexual encounter. This can reduce the risk of transmission of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Get tested: If you are sexually active, getting tested for syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections is essential. This can help detect syphilis early and prevent its spread to others.
  • Limit your sexual partners: Having multiple sexual partners can increase your risk of contracting syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections. Limiting your sexual partners can help reduce this risk.
  • Avoid contact with sores: Syphilis can be spread through contact with open sores, which are usually found on the genitals, anus, or mouth. Avoid sexual contact with anyone who has open sores or rash on their genitals, anus, or mouth.
  • Practice good hygiene: Maintaining good personal hygiene can help prevent the spread of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections. Wash your hands regularly, especially after sexual contact.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. If you think you may have been exposed to syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.



The diagnosis of syphilis is done with the following tests:

Blood Tests

These tests are performed to analyze the presence of antibodies in the body to fight infection. Antibodies that are produced in the body because of syphilis can stay inside the body for years and thus the test can be used to determine a current or past infection.

Cerebrospinal Fluid

In case a person has neurological complications because of syphilis, your primary healthcare advisor can collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid through a lumbar puncture.

Treatment of Syphilis | When to Consult a Doctor

Some of the prominent treatments for syphilis are as follows:


If diagnosed and treated early, syphilis is a curable disease. Penicillin is the most prominent antibiotic which is used for this disease. Penicillin is the only recommended medication for pregnant women who are diagnosed with syphilis.

In case of any concerning signs and symptoms, you need to visit a certified infectious disease specialist